But Barbra Sher, whomever you are, what if most days I cannot see past the daily grind of my seemingly unexceptional life??? And what if my calling today is this wake-up, make-breakfast, pack-lunches, kiss-my-children, try-to-keep-it-all-together routine? What if the spirit has led me here, and that is where God wants to meet me? Not on the mountains, but in the quiet of the luscious ordinary valley. Am I okay with that?
Lord, I hope so.
Motherhood is a weird thing… to be a woman in 2015 might be the best time to be a female in the history of ever, but yet, we stand here so conflicted. Turmoil lies within me as my “dreams” wrestle with the present demands that are upon me. I bare the weight of my maternal burdens, like laundry and dishes and birthing the babies… while starring down hallways of open doors to grand possibilities. The infinity of options causes one to slip into motivational comatose. I just can’t move all the mountains that I desire, and then defeat soon sets in.
When my present life hits me and I look up to find myself, here I sit, deep in the valley. Instead of lifting my head to the sky and straining my eyes to see the sisters scaling the ridges so high above , I am choosing to throw my quilt down and rest. To unpack my lunch, to lay and gaze at the animals in the clouds, to soak up the wet, cleansing morning dew, and pluck the lilies and craft a flower crown to nestle on my head. Seeking contentment where HE has me must be my aim.
THIS… is more my speed these days:
I mean even awesomeness is a struggle, but it’s a good aspiration.
Cookie Monster, there you are friend. Now THAT’S what I am talking about! Lately, with a house full of littles, cookies tend to be my rescue…But I do have a slight problem, “me will eat cookies” inevitably turns into “me will have cookie monster’s rear-end”, which then makes me only want to eat more cookies. It’s a viscous cycle, this emotional eating.
In Matthew Chapter 4 the Spirit of God leads Jesus to the dessert to be tempted.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4
But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
So much is packed into this nugget of the gospel. First off, I love how it says Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights… and he was hungry… you’d think so Mr. Matthew. Secondly, the Spirit of God often allows temptation to walk on our path. These times of tempting are a testing to proof us for the call ahead…. the things that are yet to be revealed to us, but are known by the Lord alone. The tempting is seemingly irresistible and beautiful, and a legitimate desire we could justify…. like Jesus with the bread. But the temptation was not about the bread, it was about questioning the call of the Lord.
Satan is cunning and smart, he points to the rocks, to the terrain of the simple, and he diminishes the call of Jesus. He says to Jesus, you “can” do this, so “do it”… He beckons Jesus to question his commissioning, calling out his divine ‘right’ as the son of God, and to distrust the call of the Father, and to instead choose HIMSELF. If Jesus submitted to this temptation he would be choosing his own desire over the will of the Father.
As I trudge through this place, this valley, and I stare at these stones, Satan sweetly whispers to me… “This stone is no good, its rough, and hard, and unsatisfying… You deserve more. Leave this rock for bread, Heather. You need bread, not stones.”…
I must make the conscious decision to speak truth back to such sultry invitations. It is better to live simply on the fruits of God’s goodness than live plentifully on the products of our own sin. I must have assurance that I am commissioned by God for his most holy calling, even if it’s the simple daily duties that await me each morning I wake. Yes, I am capable of doing more, being more, achieving more…. but my call lies here, in the ordinariness of this thing called motherhood. When I rise, I choose to place my calling before myself, knowing that it is here that I will meet with my maker, and he will meet with me.
In our greatest abundance we must not think to live without God, so in our greatest need, we must learn to live on God. The simple “obediences” of today all add up and amount to a life of great worth. When we trust in HIM, He is faithful to complete a good work in us.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
I would much rather be a walking, breathing, living work of the Holy One, than to slave away on my own accord, trying my best to make an imitation that will never compare. It’s a daily surrender of control and my struggle lays in my daily grip on contentment. Choosing the stones over the bread, and being okay with that, because the stones will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year. They are unmovable, unshakable, solid rocks in which I stand upon, and for these simple stones of faith, I am forever grateful.